US 3900898 A
A single brace extends upwardly from beneath the shoe to the thigh where it extends into a pocket in the trousers of the wearer. The brace has a ball bearing joint in line with the knee joint of the wearer. The lower member of the brace is made in two parts which overlap and are rigidly secured together as by screws in selected matching holes which provide for extension or contraction of the brace to accommodate different length legs. Protective padding is provided on the brace at the ankle and thigh.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ackerman Aug. 26, 1975  ATHLETIC SHIELD 3,786,804 1/1974 Lewis 2/24 X  lnventor: Eugene J. Ackerman, 4819 S. i
' Przmar Exammer-Geo. V. Larkln PkdA.Cdh w.53110 Y ac at v6 u a Attorney, Agent, or FirmAndrus, Sceales, Starke &  Filed: Sept. 23, 1974 S l]  Appl. No.: 508,533
 ABSTRACT A single brace extends upwardly from beneath the 5 il i gg shoe to the thigh where it extends into a pocket in the  Fie'ld 165 87 89 trousers of the wearer. The brace has a ball bearing i joint in line with the knee joint of the wearer. The lower member of the brace is made in two parts which overlap and are rigidly secured together as by screws  References C'ted in selected matching holes which provide for exten- UNITED STATES PATENTS sion or contraction of the brace to accommodate dif- 2,144,641 1/1939 Snyder 2/22 X f t length legs. Protective padding is provided on the brace at the ankle and thigh.
oung 3,528,412 9/1970 McDavid 128/80 5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures ATHLETIC SHIELD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to an athletic shield for protecting the ankle and knee of an athlete such as a football or hockey player.
2. Description of the Prior Art Heretofore, braces have been provided for the knee, but in every instance in which applicant is informed the two hinged members are secured to the leg by a tight band or the like which tends to interfere with the circulation of blood to and from the lower leg and foot of the wearer, and used primarily after injury has occurred.
The same is generally true of ankle braces heretofore employed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In carrying out the present invention both the ankle and knee are protected from lateral and medial bending forces, without interfering with the normal action of the leg or with the blood circulation.
For this purpose applicant avoids the use of leg bands in securing his brace in place.
The brace of the present invention is securely rigidly to the shoe at its lower end and is telescopingly secured in a pocket in the trousers above the knee at its upper end. I,
The brace is constructed of three parts, the lower end part extending from the sole of the shoe upwardly past the ankle and along the calf of the lower leg of the wearer, the central part adjustably overlapping the lower part and rigidly secured thereto at selected locations to accommodate the length of the lower leg of the wearer, and the upper part being pivoted at its lower end to the upper end of the central part as by a ball bearing joint disposed in axial alignment with the axis of the knee joint of the wearer, and said upper part extending upwardly to be telescopingly received in a pocket in the trouser of the wearer at the thigh.
Suitable padding is provided between the brace and the ankle of the wearer and between the upper part and the thigh of the wearer to prevent possible abrasion of the leg and to cushion lateral and medial thrust of the wearer in action.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The accompanying drawing illustrates the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of an athlete shown wearing a brace as provided by the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevation of the brace and showing in dark lines several pivotal positions of the upper part;
FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the brace;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail of the knee joint and length adjustment with parts broken away and sectioned;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail section showing the pocket of the wearers trousers telescoping the upper end of the brace; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail axial section of the knee joint of the brace.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The athletic shield of the present invention constitutes a brace comprising in general three members or segments, the lower segment 1, central segment 2 and upper segment 3.
The lower segment 1 is in the form of a rigid strip of suitable width and thickness adapted to extend from ground level to near the upper level of the calf of the lower leg of a wearer.
The lower end of segment 1 is formed at right angles to the segment to provide an arm 4 extending beneath the shoe 5 of the wearer just in front of the heel '6, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Suitable fastening means such as screws 7 secure the arm 4 to the sole of the shoe 5 at the instep.
The upper end of segment 1 has a plurality of vertically spaced holes 8 therein, preferably threaded to receive screws 9 which fasten the central segment 2 to segment 1 in selected matching holes 10 in the central segment to provide for adjustable extension and contraction of the length of the brace to accommodate wearers having different leg lengths from the knee to the ground.
For this purpose central segment 2 is constructed as a straight rigid strip of approximately the same width and thickness as segment 1 and has a pair of holes 10 spaced vertically along its lower end to match given holes 8 for adjustment purposes.
The upper end of central segment 2 is connected to the lower end of upper segment 3 by a suitable pivotal means 11 shown as a ball bearing pivot in detail in FIG. 6.
The segment 3 is constructed as a rigid strip generally of the same width and thickness as segments 1 and 2.
The upper end of segment 3 is free to extend through a metal eye 12 into a pocket 13 in the trouser leg 14 of .the wearer for suitable telescoping movement in the pocket.
Chafing of the leg is prevented by thick padding 15 between the lower segment 1 and the shoe and buckle of the wearer, and thick padding 16 between the upper segment 3 and the thigh of the wearer.
The pads 15 and 16 tend to hold the central segment 2 and joint 11 away from the knee of the wearer.
The brace does not interfere with the normal knee action required of an athlete.
Also, the brace has no bands which restrict circulation of blood in the leg of the wearer and it protects the ankle against twisting.
The segments 1, 2 and 3 may be constructed of any suitably stiff material such as a light weight aluminum alloy or an acrylic resin.
Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.
1. An athletic shield constituting a brace adapted to extend vertically from the foot to the thigh along the outside of the leg of an athlete, comprising a lower segment, means to secure said lower segment rigidly to the shoe of the athlete, a central segment, means adjustably securing said central segment to said lower segment to accommodate difierent length legs of athletes, an upper segment, a pivotal knee joint between said upper segment and said central segment adapted to be disposed axially in line with the knee joint of the athlete, the upper end of said upper section being free for telescoping confinement in a pocketof the trousers of the athlete, and said brace being substantially free of leg constricting attachments which might interfere with the tral segment of saidbrace comprises an overlappingof the ends of said segments with a series of correspondingly spaced matching holes, and screws disposed selectively in said holes to provide for adjustment of the heighth of said pivotal knee joint from the ground to fit the athlete. g
4. The shield of claim 1 in which said pivotal knee joint comprises an overlapping of the adjacent ends of said central segment and said upper segment, a ball bearing disposed between the overlapping segments, and means securing said overlapping segments, and means securing said overlapping segments axially of said ballbearing to confine the latter therebetween.
5. The shield of claim 1 and thick padding means secured upon the inside of said lower segment in the region of the shoe and ankle of the athlete and upon the inside of said upper segment in the region of the thigh of the'athlete to prevent chafing of the leg of the athlete and retain the central segment spaced laterally from the knee of the athlete.
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. I 3, 900,898
DATED August 26, 1975 INVYENTOMS) 3 Eugene J. Ackerman It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, Line 26, Cancel "securely" and substitute therefor secured;
Column 4, Line 7, Delete "and means securing said (Claim 4) overlapping segments,"
Signed and Sealed this ninth D 3) Of December 1 975 '[SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Alfestirlg Offi er Commissioner ufParents and Trademarks